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Autonomic neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves that help control the involuntary functions of the body (autonomic nervous system), such as heartbeat and blood pressure, sweating and temperature regulation, digestion, urination, and some aspects of sexual function.
Diabetic autonomic neuropathy may damage the nerves in the heart and circulatory system, causing a:
Autonomic neuropathy may affect the nerves that control sweating.
Damage to the nerves of the stomach and intestines may cause:
Nerve damage may cause problems with the bladder and sex organs. Common problems include:
While not usually life-threatening, autonomic neuropathy can be disabling. There are effective treatments for some of the problems caused by diabetic autonomic neuropathy.
Last Revised: April 12, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
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